Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsMusic & Music Players · 1 month ago

do second hand cds still sound good when played?

i tend to buy 2nd hand cds from ebay, the greatest hits of old bands i like from the 60s, 70s and 80s.....some cds sound muffled and distorted - not very good sound quality, when played in my denon stereo cd player, which i bought from argos in 2017, it cost me £500..

is it worth me buying used cds, can they still sound good quality sound?  why at times some cds sound not good sound or quality?


thankyou robert, very helpful.

1 Answer

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer


    If they are clean no significant scratches or damage, they will play exactly the same as they did when brand new.

    Digital audio does not degrade "gracefully" like analog - there is no such thing as slight corruption or distortion, as bit errors have just the same chance of being in the most significant bit of a sample (and causing a near maximum-volume glitch) as being in the least significant bit and causing low level distortion.

    Surface damage on CDs can cause problems such as jumping tracks & missing or stretched / repeating audio sections.

    Overall, as long as the label side is undamaged, you can get them repolished at a game store, pretty much irrelevant of how bad any damage to the underside is.

    The only incurable problems are damage to the label side, which frequently takes off the aluminium metallisation layer, or with some discs the edges delaminate and the aluminium layer starts to oxidise away, making the last tracks unplayable.

    Any quality problems on a clean, intact disc are down to the original audio mastering, not the media.

    Look for a three-letter box on the disc or case insert: AAD, ADD, DDD

    That shows what stages of the recording were on analog or digital media.

    DDD are frequently the best as analog noise and low level distortion could never be introduced after the initial recording phase.

    Edit - just a though..

    Try and avoid any discs that do not have the "CD Audio" logo - there are non-CDs about that substitute the  ECC data used in the tru Audio CD format with other data, to try and prevent ripping or copying on computer based devices.

    Those may be more prone to problems if there are any slight surface imperfections, as the CD player cannot properly verify or correct errors in the audio data blocks.

    One example:

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